Cantonese pub

What is now open at the New Downtown South Eveleigh Food Center

South Eveleigh, right next to Redfern Station, was the birthplace of Australia’s national rail network in the 19th century, and it is still home to a number of old heritage-listed railway workshops. Since 2016, Mirvac has been developing the old industrial site which will eventually accommodate 18,000 workers.

As part of this deployment, a food hub has slowed down its opening in recent months. Tokyo-inspired Rara Ramen’s tiny Rara Chan already serves food, specializing in tsukemen – a dipping ramen (thick noodles and toppings are served in a bowl separate from the broth).

There’s also an Eat Fuh outpost, which serves stellar pho alongside other Vietnamese specialties; Japanese salad bar Fishbowl; laid-back Egyptian fusion restaurant Bekya; and Famous Fish by Steve Costi, among others.

Next comes one of the world’s first permanent zero-waste bars, Re – an ambitious project designed by innovator Matt Whiley in collaboration with Maurice Terzini of Icebergs. From start to finish, Re will be as waste as possible: food that would otherwise be sent to landfill will be sent in cocktails; the majority of the materials used to build the bar were recycled; and anything that cannot be composted, reused or diverted will be seriously checked before going to the trash.

Whiley says the point is not to create a “concept” or a bar that is to preach to people. Instead, it’s about having a good time for the punters – but if they want to remove the layers on the zero waste aspect, he’s happy to help.

Then, in May, one of Sydney’s most anticipated restaurants – Kylie Kwong’s new restaurant in the Locomotive Workshop – will open. But don’t expect another take on Billy Kwong, his restaurant that fuses Cantonese cuisine with indigenous ingredients and redefines Chinese cuisine. Kwong, who is the neighborhood ambassador (for food, culture and community), plans to create a casual restaurant that is reminiscent of what is most important to her as a cook. “It’s going to have a very simple menu, but a very meaningful menu,” she told us.

The always busy The Grounds Café will open its third Sydney venue and event space in the new Lifestyle Center. A new concept store by Romeo’s IGA Food Hall will also open in the locomotive workshop later this month. There will be a pizzeria, pastry shop, sushi bar, roaster and florist. Orazio D’Elia, owner and executive chef of Matteo, collaborated with Romeo’s to create the concept.

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